Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

By Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking learn argues that the concept that of "afterness" is a key determine within the suggestion and aesthetics of modernity. It pursues questions resembling: What does it suggest for whatever to "follow" anything else? Does that which follows mark a transparent holiday with what got here earlier than it, or does it in truth tacitly perpetuate its predecessor by reason of its inevitable indebtedness to the phrases and stipulations of that from which it claims to have departed? certainly, isn't the very act of breaking with, after which following upon, a manner of retroactively developing and fortifying that from which the holiday that set the circulate of following into movement had occurred?

The booklet explores the idea that and circulation of afterness as a privileged but uncanny type via shut readings of writers corresponding to Kant, Kafka, Heidegger, Bloch, Benjamin, Brecht, Adorno, Arendt, Lyotard, and Derrida. It exhibits how the vexed thoughts of afterness, following, and coming after shed new mild on a constellation of recent preoccupations, together with own and cultural reminiscence, translation, images, wish, and the historic and conceptual specificity of what has been termed "after Auschwitz." The study's a number of analyses—across a heterogeneous number of glossy writers and thinkers, different historic moments of articulation, and a variety of media—conspire to light up Lyotard's apodictic assertion that "after philosophy comes philosophy. however it has been altered by means of the 'after.'" As Richter's problematic examine demonstrates, a lot hinges on our interpretation of the "after." finally, our such a lot primary assumptions touching on glossy aesthetic illustration, conceptual discourse, group, subjectivity, and politics are at stake.

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Our relation to the opposite, to the reminiscence of the pal, hence constantly is characterised by means of a communal bearing or a mutual wearing and through the customers or reminiscence of disappointment, finitude, and mourning. Derrida displays on those questions either theoretically in his philosophical writings dedicated to finitude and mourning and experientially in his extra in my opinion inflected texts dedicated to lately deceased buddies and co-workers within the paintings of Mourning. those comprise eulogies and meditations on such useless buddies as Barthes, de guy, Foucault, Althusser, Kofman, Deleuze, Levinas, and Lyotard. extra lately, those texts have been joined by means of ones at the East German playwright Heiner Müller and on Gadamer. sixteen There also are meditations at the losses of family, equivalent to Derrida’s reflections on his event of the loss of life and eventual demise of his mom in “Circumfession,” a textual content revealed within the decrease margins of a e-book approximately Derrida written via a chum, Geoffrey Bennington—where the reader is faced with competing and supplementary texts on every one web page, the single explicating Derrida, the opposite written through Derrida himself, embracing, asserting, protesting, clarifying, supplementing, and memorializing the voice of the good friend. 17 Leaving the notice to somebody else—jemandem das Wort überlassen, as one says in German—letting the opposite communicate rather than oneself, and but carrying on with to imagine and write with and for that different is the act of reminiscence and mourning par excellence. If the legislation of friendship is the legislations of mourning and reminiscence, there might be no friendship with no the everlasting probability and possibility of mourning. One can't die including the friend—two can die even as, yet probably not, within the private experience, jointly, as in Kafka’s melancholic diction, in “The Judgment,” the place a son and a father are defined as consuming their meal gleichzeitig (simultaneously) instead of zusammen (together). Our friendships will constantly were conditioned by means of the long run absence of the opposite, even of the self within the different, and through the truth that certainly one of us unavoidably may be left at the back of to bury, to mourn, to commemorate the opposite, located one of the associates who've been left at the back of, the survivors who're now left to stroll on their lonesome, in reminiscence of the opposite. whereas Derrida works to formulate a sequence of axioms and legislation that reply to the constructions of friendship as mourning and finitude, he additionally reminds us that every demise of a pal is singular, whenever, as he places it, the tip of the realm. Our pals, even if useless or alive, are hence either totally singular and precise, and even as hooked up to each other during the danger and prospect in their and our shared finitude, a finitude that ultimately will provide upward push to the tear of reminiscence, of mourning, and of commemoration. This tear of mourning and of reminiscence flows in a passage from “The style of Tears” (1990), a textual content written at the celebration of the demise of Derrida’s good friend Jean-Marie Benoist, There, we learn: To have a pal, to examine him, to stick with him together with your eyes, to appreciate him in friendship, is to grasp in a extra extreme means, already injured, constantly insistent, and increasingly more unforgettable, that one of many of you are going to unavoidably see the opposite die.

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